Monday, August 2, 2010

Alternative Infant Feeding, In Honor of World Breastfeeding Week

World Breastfeeding Week has begun!  It goes from August 1-7.  It's a great chance to support breastfeeding moms all over the world.

In honor of World Breastfeeding Week, I want to share my very favorite breastfeeding resource: The Ultimate Breastfeeding Book of Answers, by Jack Newman, MD, and Teresa Pitman.

This book taught me so much about breastfeeding.  I had already breastfed four babies by the time I read it, and there was still so much that I didn't know.  

For instance, when breastfeeding isn't possible Dr. Newman provides at least 3 other feeding options including cup, tube, and finger feeding expressed breast milk before turning to formula. He also teaches how to improve breastfeeding while using these alternatives.  His book is full of detailed information and advice to help every woman find success in breastfeeding.

I posted this on my facebook fan page yesterday and I got some great comments from moms who were unable to breastfeed for a time and used alternative feeding methods to ensure their babies got the best nutrition (breast milk).  Here are some of their experiences:

Brandi said: "I fingerfed my baby for 8 weeks while I was trying to get him to latch. He never did, so I ended up exclusively pumping (been at it for 7 months!). I think a lot of women don't know about alternate ways to feed their baby. Before I ran into all our breastfeeding issues, I always assumed that if you can't breastfeed then you formula feed. I didn't realize there were any alternatives, because you don't hear them talked about a whole lot."

From Brooke: "We did syringe feeding with my colostrum for the first three days. I didn't get to try and actually latch him on until after my milk had come in. (He had under developed lungs and couldn't eat and breathe at once.) But because he'd gotten the colostrum he was familiar with and eager for it."

Nicole commented: "We did tube feeding with donated breastmilk for 6 months with my youngest. It's a great way to keep babies interested in staying at the breast; bottle feeding is so much less work for them and can lead to breasts refusal."

Using these alternative feeding methods instead of a bottle can help avoid nipple confusion and help the mother continue breastfeeding efforts.  Breastfeeding is natural and normal, but it's not always easy.  Moms need love and support to have the best chance at making it work.  Even if you aren't currently breastfeeding you can be a source of strength and support by providing information and encouragement to expectant and breastfeeding moms everywhere, even by simply recommending Dr. Newman's book.

Eileen said: "I love Newman's book and website. The videos were really helpful and the concept of using compression has been a godsend and make a big difference in my ability to breastfeed."

From Chelsea: "Love this book...I pumped for nearly a year with my daughter because of latching issues. She never has had more than 2 canisters worth of formula total, in her life. I want to buy this book for every expecting and new mom!!!"

“While breastfeeding may not seem the right choice for every parent, it is the best choice for every baby.” - Amy Spangler

If you want more information and support for breastfeeding, please see Dr. Jack Newman's website.

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